There is no denying that information and cyber security breaches are on the rise across industries and companies of all sizes. Whether it is the theft of sensitive information by an employee or a cyber security breach by an unknown criminal, your organization could experience the following significant damages as the result of such incidents:
- Operational Disruption – The introduction of any unauthorized software tool such as malware could have a devastating impact on your company’s information management system, ranging from drastically slowing down parts of the system to a complete shutdown of all systems, resulting in a significant negative impact to your organization’s operations.
- Competitive Impact – The loss of any sensitive information such as employee data, product specifications, client sales and pricing data, or supplier purchase agreements could damage your organization’s competitive position in the marketplace.
- Brand Erosion – Although we hear about large organizations such as major banks, retailers, and governmental agencies being hit with information security breaches, no company is immune. Regardless of whether your company’s breach makes national news headlines, it could cause your customers and partners to develop a lower confidence level in your brand. This in turn could be leveraged by your competitors to take market share away if they are perceived as a better-run and better-managed alternative.
- Legal Implications – Cyber and information security litigation is on the rise. One side effect of this trend is that managers and business owners are increasingly being held accountable to take proactive, prudent steps to safeguard their information management systems from a breach.
As we all know, there is no 100 percent security guarantee no matter how extensively your organization invests in such efforts. However, you can achieve significant security safeguards by taking a number of prudent steps on an ongoing basis, such as:
- Conducting independent and periodic vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.
- Offering your staff ongoing cyber and information security training.
- Creating a response and recovery plan that you can tap in the event of a breach.
Information and cyber security protection measures are now a required management practice for all companies. Taking steps now to prevent and recover from a breach will reduce the risks outlined above.
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